A staff writer has been removed from his position at The Daily Aztec after admitting he fabricated two quotes in a story published online Jan. 29 and in print on Jan. 31.
The story, published under the headline “Women’s tennis poised and ready for breakout season,” featured quotes from freshman athlete Abbie Mulbarger and head coach Peter Mattera, neither of whom spoke with the reporter for the story.
When questioned, the writer admitted to inventing the quotes.
The Daily Aztec regrets this breach of journalistic ethics. The writer was placed on administrative leave while senior editors screened his earlier stories for other inaccuracies or fabrications. None have been discovered thus far.
The writer was formally removed on Feb. 6.
This is the second incidence of plagiarism the newspaper has faced in the last three months. In November, an opinion columnist was found to have outsourced the editing and some of the writing of a story to an outside special interest organization. That writer was also removed from her staff position.
The Daily Aztec has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to plagiarism. While it is student-run, we adhere to the same ethical standards as any professional news organization. We will continue to hold our writers and editors to the highest standards, and are committed to providing our readers with the most relevant, up-to-date, and — most importantly — accurate information available.
We have removed the fabricated quotes but have left the story up in the interest of transparency.